Public sick of teachers’ sick out
The MacIver News Service contacted school districts around the state that had been closed by the teacher walkouts to ask what they have been hearing from the public. The response has mostly been favorable to Governor Scott Walker and very negative towards the teachers unions.
Freedom Area School District canceled classes Friday after 106 of 184 staff members failed to show up for work.
“It was a ‘docked pay day’ for them and they knew that I did not support their choice,” said Lois Cuff, Freedom Area School District Administrator.
The district has since warned teachers if there is another walk out, they will be disciplined and possibly fired. Cuff said teachers are also trying to influence their students’ views on the protests in Madison and Governor Walker’s policies.
“I have had many, many phone calls and e-mails from very angry parents. Parents also have informed me that some teachers are talking to their students about this and are getting very emotional,” Cuff said. “They have also been warned not to speak of this issue in a personal way with their students.”
Schools in Wisconsin Dells also had to cancel classes Friday when 60 teachers called in sick.
“I received no positive feedback from parents or community members,” said Chuck Whitsell, District Administrator. “Generally, people who called the District complained about school being cancelled, supported Governor Walker’s efforts to fix the state budget and told me that it’s about time that teachers (school employees) experienced the real world.”
In Reedsburg, Tom Benson, the district administrator, said 95 percent of the contact he’s had with the community has been negative concerning that district’s sick out.
“I believe a high percentage of these comments have come from people who do not know enough of the specifics to justify their anger, the reality is that they are angry,” Benson explained.
Robert Mayfield, the Superintendent in Kimberly, said “There is little if any support for our teacher ‘sick out;’ Anger, disappointment, and a myriad of emotions were expressed.”
Mayfied said that two general themes were conveyed “[T]eachers didn’t care about kids, teachers need to give up pay.”